Boris Johnson thinks a tin of economy supermarket baked beans costs £1.49

The Mayor has faced a mixture of derision and sympathy from the public

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Boris Johnson is facing derision after he overestimated the price of a tin of baked beans by a factor of six.

Asked to name the price of a tin of economy supermarket baked beans on LBC Radio this morning the Mayor of London said they would retail at around £1.49.

The supermarket chain Tesco sells baked beans for 24p with other supermarkets selling the basic foodstuff at broadly similar prices.

Asking politicians to estimate the price of basic households goods is a favoured tactic of broadcast journalists looking to purportedly test how ‘in touch’ they are with the public.

Standard versions of the question tend to refer to the price of a pint of milk or loaf of bread.

More expensive versions of the humble baked bean are available. Exclusive department store Fortnum and Mason retails a tub of sundried tomato and English mustard fresh baked beans for £3.95, made by the company Proper Beans.


One Twitter use, @SunshineDebb, tweeted “Just goes to show how totally out of touch some of these people are” while @craigoneill73 said “possibly in the food hall at Harrods, not sure Tescos would match that price”.

Others expressed sympathy for the Mayor, however. @scott7alexander said “I have no idea what they cost either” while @LascellesH said it was “embarrassing [that] people expect the Mayor of London to spend his time memorising the price of supermarket products”.

Video: Do Londoners know how much beans cost?

Mr Johnson was elected as an MP in West London in last week’s election, a job the Old Etonian will do in addition to remaining as Mayor of London.

David Cameron announced earlier this week that his former Oxford contemporary would also attend political cabinet meetings while serving as Mayor of London.